Are you keeping Christmas in your heart?

Christmas is an intrinsic part of our kiwi culture, regardless of our beliefs. Each year the Christmas holidays roll round. We celebrate the arrival of Summer and all it brings;  cricket games in the backyard, barbecues at the beach, camping holidays and for many of us we celebrate the festivities of the Christmas season.

Christmas is celebrated by billions of people around the world. In most Western countries it is a public holiday with shops, schools and factories all closed. Public services run at diminished capacity if at all, and most private companies shut their doors. In New Zealand it is a day the whole country comes to a stand still. 

We can choose to keep Christmas in our hearts.

Christmas is such a big part of our culture that we see it everywhere in the lead up to the 25th of December. There are Christmas trees and decorations in nearly every store and mall. Many councils erect a Christmas tree and put up lights and banners around town. Christmas carols blar from loud speakers and the radio stations are playing Christmas songs throughout the days, if not weeks, leading up to Christmas. It is almost impossible to escape Christmas if you live in New Zealand.

And what about the children in our care? Whether or not their families embrace Christmas at home, they can not escape the many 'signs of the season'. On the TV, the internet, in shops and malls, on the streets and at friend's houses., the signs and sounds of Christmas are everywhere.  Does the magic of Christmas stop at the gate of our place or do we provide a peaceful haven for our children, a place where they can absorb the beauty, care  and historical and cultural significance of the holiday celebrations? Is the spirit of Christmas alive and thriving in our place, in our home away from home? It will be if we hold the spirit of Christmas in our hearts!

We can make a change if we believe in the magic of Christmas.

And yes, it seems at times Christmas  has turned into a hype with people tending to forget the essence of what Christmas stands for and focusing on the “I wants and the I needs” and all the commercialism that comes with it.  

But we can be different!  We can give our children the antidote to the hype and the consumerism. We can give them the magic of sparkles and twinkles, of beautiful adornments, of soothing music, of stories that focus on kindness and empathy. Christmas is a beautiful time of the year for the children to feel the results of our care.

If teachers approach Christmas with the HEAD then children will miss the HEART of Christmas. 

Rather than jumping on the bandwagon of adult oriented product focused table top activities that have little value and meaning for the children, we can truly celebrate the reason for the season. We can leave behind the stress of Santa parties, end of year performances, artificial art and craft activities. Instead, why not focus on the Heart of Christmas - joy, love, kindness, empathy, peace and families spending time together? What is it we want to really celebrate in this season? 

Create the twinkle and sparkle of Christmas on the outside by renewing the Christmas spirit within. 

The magic of Christmas creates beauty; everything is softer, gentler and more beautiful. Coming back to our hearts renews the sparkle and  weaves the real magic of Christmas and summer (or winter) in our centre or home. Not only will the children come under the 'spell' of a magical Christmas, the adults will as well. And for us... 'magically' that tiredness, that 'end of year feeling' will fade away under the spell of Christmas cheer!

Let in the energising magic of Christmas to recharge our batteries and reignite our passion. We will find that instead of feeling like we want to 'wind down' we will actually find ourselves 'winding up'. Our children deserve it!

Infuse your space with festive cheer.

Make this Christmas season a sensory banquet - a feast for the eyes, the ears and the tastebuds. Decorate, play music, tell stories and bake. The joy you will see in the children’s eyes, the feedback you will get from the parents and the warmth and fuzziness you will feel in your own heart will feed you all. Try it!

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We have created a beautiful toolkit for those who want to keep Christmas in their Heart. Check it out.